By Tara Rippin • 14 October 2020 • 9:00
Quarter of ‘rule-breaking’ crew on £3billion nuclear sub test positive for Covid after leaving base for booze sessions.
SAILORS on HMS Vigilant were under strict orders not to leave Kings Bay US Navy base in Georgia, but reportedly broke the rules and went to bars, restaurants and strip clubs.
Now, at least 35 crew have tested positive for Covid-19, including a doctor and executive officer – said to be one of just two people with codes to deploy nuclear weapons.
“They have been alongside for weeks and sailors do what sailors do,” a source told The Sun.
HMS Vigilant makes up part of the UK’s nuclear deterrent – along with four other submarines.
Maintenance work is being carried out on Trident 2 – a submarine-launched ballistic missile – which is housed on the vessel.
Despite strict orders on leaving quarters and overnight stays, on one occasion crew members allegedly travelled 200 miles to a beach in Florida which is the third worst hit state in the US, with almost 739,000 cases in total.
A Royal Navy spokesman told the same newspaper: “We do not comment on matters related to submarine operations.”
Where an individual’s conduct falls short of the high standards we expect, we won’t hesitate to take the appropriate action.’
HMS Vigilant has been shrouded in controversy over the years after scandals involving drugs and one that saw a captain and officer taken off the ship for having sex with female officers in 2017.
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.
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